The spider beetle usually isn’t a common household pest, but the presence of spider beetles inside your home should certainly raise some red flags. These pests are prolific reproducers and infestations can happen quickly, meaning effective treatment for these hungry critters is important.
But how did you get spider beetles, why did they choose your home to infest, and how can you get rid of them once and for all? If these are your questions, then you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, we are covering the steps you need to take to get rid of the American spider beetle and keep it from coming back.
Let’s get started.
What Is A Spider Beetle?
The Spider Beetle is a species of beetle that is considered a pantry pest.
Scientifically known as Mezium Americanum, the American spider beetle is one of several species of beetle in the subfamily Pitininae. Also known as the black spider beetle, this insect is an arthropod in the beetle order, meaning it is not a spider at all.
However, it does look like a small spider and even shares some same spider-like habits, making the confusion understandable to say the least.
Other common spider beetle species include:
- The Brown Spider Beetle
- The Australian Spider Beetle
- The Whitemarked Spider Beetle
- And The Golden Spider Beetle
The American spider beetle is a common pest in warehouses, where it infests stored foods, fabrics, and other organic materials. Though the insect rarely invades homes, a spider beetle infestation in residential settings is not unheard of.
Because of their diverse diet and ability to adapt to different environments, spider beetles can live almost anywhere. And while they are not a threat to humans and pets, and though they don’t cause structural damage to properties, they can cost hundreds of dollars in food waste and cause damage to fabrics and furniture.
This video shows a timelapse of how quickly spider beetles can devour and destroy pantry foods.
Furthermore, the presence of spider beetles in your home could be an indication of a much worse pest problem that could be dangerous to your health. This is because, along with warehouses, spider beetles commonly live in rodent nests, bird nests, and bat roosts.
But what are some other common reasons you might have a spider beetle infestation in your home? Keep reading to find out.
Why Do I Have An American Spider Beetle Infestation?
Spider beetles can be a sign of other infections like bats, rodents or birds.
While it is true that spider beetles could infiltrate your home via rodents, bats or birds, they usually do so through other, less frightful means.
In fact, most people who discover they have a spider beetle infestation in their home wound up with the pest after purchasing already infested foods.
As we mentioned above, spider beetles are most commonly considered warehouse pests that infest packaged foods by chewing small holes in the containers. Once inside, they build webs and cocoons, and lay their eggs.
Oftentimes, it’s easy to tell when food has been contaminated by spider beetles and this food is usually tossed out, but sometimes this contamination goes unnoticed and foods are sold. When this happens, spider beetles can easily hatch and spread throughout your home.
Once inside your home, spider beetles do not stick to the pantry or kitchen. Due to their diverse diet, they often make their way throughout the home, finding refuge in walls, attics, basements, and other dark, moist areas. Because they are nocturnal and elusive insects, finding and treating them can be difficult.
This is why it’s so important to do a thorough inspection throughout your home if you feel you do indeed have spider beetles before coming up with a treatment plan.
Let’s learn more.
How To Identify A Spider Beetle Infestation
Look through your pantry and kitchen first, and spider beetles often infiltrate foods and grains.
As with any pest problem, identification is key to ensuring you create the right treatment plan for spider beetles. When it comes to spider beetles, products are relatively affordable and readily available. However, ensuring you remove all the spider beetles from your home can be tedious.
The first step should be properly identifying spider beetles in your home. American spider beetles are small, growing to be between 1.5 and 3.5 mm in length once mature. They have six long legs and a segmented body that includes a head and thorax. The head is small, with the abdomen is large, circular and shiny.
American spider beetles are often a red, brown or burnt brown color, and they have two long antennae at the top of their head. Their legs, which often give them the appearance of being spider-like, are generally yellow or beige.
However, you are not likely to notice an adult spider beetle first unless you have a severe infestation. In fact, generally the first sign of an American spider beetle infestation are signs of infested foods.
The most common signs of a spider beetle infestation in your home include:
- Small holes in food packaging
- Webs and silky cocoons in food
- Spider beetles and spider beetle larvae in food
There are a few specific items and substances that spider beetles are attracted to which homeowners should be aware of and check first if they believe they have spider beetles in their home. These items and substances include:
- Moldy or stale foods
- Rye Bread
- Dried mushrooms
- Animal Skins
- Animal Droppings
- And Cacao
How To Get Rid Of A Spider Beetle Infestation- Most Popular Methods
Because spider beetles often invade areas where food is stored, it’s important to be cautious when choosing your method of control.
Because they are beetles, treatment methods for spider beetle control are plentiful. This means you have a few different options when it comes to how you want to manage this problem in your home.
That said, remember that these pests often choose kitchens and areas where humans and pets live and play, so make sure to use caution when using insecticides or chemical treatments.
Some of the most common treatment methods for spider beetle control include:
- Natural Products
- Home Remedies
We know that not every method above will work for every person, and you may even want to try a combination of the above methods for spider beetle control depending on the severity of your infestation.
Not sure which method would be right for you? Don’t worry. We have you covered with a list of some of our favorite products for how to get rid of a spider beetle infestation.
Take a look.
How To Get Rid Of The Spider Beetle Using Natural Products
Many natural products contain botanical ingredients and essential oils to get rid of spider beetles.
Many homeowners find that using natural products is ideal when it comes to getting rid of a spider beetle infestation as these pests often invade kitchens and pantries first.
Using natural products is often safer to use in areas where food is stored and prepared, and many people have found that natural and organic insecticides work just as effectively as chemical insecticides when used properly.
Of course, it’s important to make sure you use products designed for spider beetle control, so let’s go over some of the best products on the market for such an infestation.
Safer Brand Pantry Pest Trap
Because the spider beetle is a type of pantry pest, using a pantry pest trap like the one listed above by Safer Brand is ideal. This type of trap can help you monitor and reduce infestations while working in conjunction with other products.
With that in mind, do not use this product alone to get rid of spider beetles, as it will only trap a few and allow you to know for certain you are dealing with these pests. Other pests this trap works for include Indian meal moths, flour bugs, and other pantry moths and pests.
Stingmon Glue Traps
Glue traps are also ideal for helping you identify a spider beetle infestation for certain. Unfortunately, spider beetles look an awful lot like other insects including spiders, bed bugs, ticks and mites. If you think you have spider beetles inside your home but aren’t sure, it’s a good idea to set some traps.
Other pests that spider beetles are commonly confused for may require different methods of treatment, which is why identification is important. The above glue traps by Stingmon are non toxic and include 48 packs to be placed around your home.
MDXConcepts Organic Home Pest Spray
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Spider beetles are highly sensitive to peppermint oil, which is one of the reasons MDXConcepts works well against them. We also like this spray because it is organic and uses all natural ingredients that not only repel pests like spider beetles but also kills them on contact.
The above spray also kills and repels roaches, spiders, ants and fleas. You can use it in areas where food is stored and prepared as well as any other areas throughout your home.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Spray
Wondercide is another all natural spray we recommend for getting rid of spider beetles because it uses natural ingredients and essential oils that are effective and safe. You can purchase this spray in different formulas depending on your preference, including peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil and cedar oil.
When it comes to spider beetles, however, we do recommend you go for the peppermint oil spray, as this is one of the most effective. This spray is also safe for people and pets and can be used in the kitchen and all throughout the home to control spiders, ants, roaches, spider beetles, mosquitoes and more.
Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
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An ultrasonic pest repeller like the one listed above may not work entirely on its own to get rid of spider beetles, but it can help repel other pests that attract them like rodents and bats. The above ultrasonic pest repeller works by emitting ultrasonic sound waves and vibrations that are highly irritating to pests but harmless and unnoticeable to people and pets.
Mighty Mint Spray
We have used Mighty Mint spray for spiders and other pests and have found it very effective, so we are excited about the prospect of using it for spider beetles as well. This spray is an organic spray that uses essential oils and other botanical ingredients that are safe for people, pets and the environment.
It works to not only control spiders and spider beetles, but also roaches and ants. You can use it in kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and anywhere else you want to repel and get rid of pests.
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade
There are many different forms of Diatomaceous Earth available, but when it comes to how to get rid of a spider beetle infestation we recommend using Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade.
This product is perfectly safe for people and pets and harmless to the environment. It is fine to use in kitchens and in areas where food is stored and prepared, and will kill pests like spider beetles on contact when they walk through it.
The organic powder is derived from fossilized algae and works by penetrating the exoskeleton of pests like spider beetles, spiders, roaches, bed bugs, and more, which then dehydrates and kills them.
Best Home Remedies For How To Get Rid Of The Spider Beetle
Vacuuming is a simple and affordable way to help eliminate spider beetles.
Spider beetle infestations can quickly get out of control, but if you catch an infestation early you may be able to use home remedies in order to stop it. You can also use home remedies to manage a spider beetle problem in your home while using other products to ensure you effectively take care of the issue.
Some of the best home remedies include following good habits while others involve household ingredients you may find you already have in your pantry or medicine cabinet. See for yourself!
Toss Out Infested Foods
While tossing infested foods may seem like a no brainer, it’s how you toss these foods that is important. Transfer these foods into airtight containers if possible before throwing them out. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for spider beetles to get out of the packaging and find their way back inside.
Also, refrain from throwing infested foods out in indoor garbage bins. Instead, toss them in outside bins in the garage or porch.
Vacuum Inside Pantries and Along Cracks and Crevices
Once you’ve thrown out any infested foods, your next step should be to clean and vacuum. Wipe down your pantry cabinets where you found spider beetle activity and then vacuum these areas thoroughly to suck up any leftover crumbs, eggs, larvae or spider beetle adults.
Empty the bag in outside garbage bins if possible to avoid any of these critters from getting back inside.
Use Essential Oils
Spider beetles, like many other pests, are very sensitive to certain essential oils. Rodents, bats and birds are also sensitive to the below essential oils, which can further help reduce your chances of winding up with a spider beetle infestation in your home.
- Citrus Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- TeaTree oil
- Catnip Oil
- Citronella Oil
- And Lavender Oil
To make your own essential oil spray to repel spider beetles and other pests, combine 1 cup of water with 25 to 30 drops of the oil of your choice. Then mix the solution in a spray bottle. You can spray this solution directly in empty kitchen cabinets and all around your home to repel spider beetles and other pests like mice, rats, bats, roaches, bed bugs, and spiders.
Catnip isn’t just for the cats! Many beetle species can’t stand the smell of catnip, so go ahead and plant some catnip in small pots and keep the plant around your kitchen. Not only will you repel pests like spider beetles, but other pests like termites, roaches, and mosquitoes will stay away as well.
How To Get Rid Of The Spider Beetle With Insecticides
While effective, insecticides do contain toxic chemicals that can be dangerous to people, pets and the environment.
Like many pests, spider beetles can often be taken care of with the use of insecticides. However, keep in mind that insecticides do use chemical toxins that can be dangerous to people or pets. Because spider beetle infestations are usually inside the home when they happen, the use of insecticides should be handled carefully and these products should only be used as directed.
Make sure to read the label, wear protective gear when necessary, and keep these products out of reach of children and pets.
Hot Shot Kitchen Spray With Botanicals
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Most of us are familiar with the chemical insecticides made by Hot Shot, but the above product is actually specifically designed for handling kitchen pests and is made with botanical ingredients and insecticides.
This spray works to kill pests like ants, spider beetles, roaches and meal moths who invade pantries and kitchens.
However, while this product does contain natural insecticides, it still contains insecticides that can be dangerous if not used properly. Be sure to read the label and use this only as directed.
Raid Ant and Roach Killer
This is another spray that contains botanical ingredients along with natural insecticides to kill kitchen pests like spider beetles, ants, roaches, spiders and more. It is safe for use in kitchens and kills pests on contact using essential oils like lemongrass oil.
This product can be ordered in different quantities depending on your needs and is designed for indoor use.
Ortho Home Defense Indoor Pest Control Spray
Ortho Home Defense Max is a common household spray that uses chemical insecticides like Bifentrhin to kill and control pest infestations. The spray works against not only spider beetles, but also roaches, ants, spiders, and more.
The spray continues to work for one year after application to prevent pests and is designed specifically so you can spray it in smaller cracks and crevices. However, keep in mind this spray does contain toxic chemicals and should be used only as directed.
How To Get Rid Of The Spider Beetle – When To Call A Professional
Spider beetles can quickly make their way throughout your home, and their presence could be an indicator of a bigger problem.
Unfortunately, spider beetle infestations in the home can be difficult to effectively treat once they reach a certain level. If you find you are dealing with a severe spider beetle infestation, it may be time to contact a professional pest control expert to help.
Most professional pest control experts charge around $100 to $500, but this price is often dependent on your region and the severity of your spider beetle infestation. That said, pest control experts should be able to help you pinpoint the cause of your spider beetle infestation, especially if it is due to another pest problem like rodents, bats or birds.
Once you have pinpointed why you have spider beetles and managed to get rid of them with your method of choice, your next step should be to create a plan of prevention.
Let’s go over some of the most effective steps you can take to keep spider beetles from returning for good.
How To Prevent Future The Spider Beetle In Your Home
Prevent future Spider Beetles by keeping pantry food in airtight containers.
Luckily, a spider beetle infestation in your home is rare, but once you’ve had one you certainly won’t want to deal with one again. In order to protect your home from a future spider beetle infestation, we have listed some tips and tricks you can use starting now.
Toss Out Old or Stale Foods
You’d be surprised how much stale foods are hanging around in the back of your pantry, and while most of us find these items harmless, the truth is they can entice critters like spider beetles. Most spider beetles will avoid fresh foods and are attracted to modly, older foods, so keep free meals at bay and throw that old, useless stuff away.
Sweep and Vacuum Often
Keeping your home nice and tidy is a good habit to practice and can help avoid all kinds of pest problems, not just spider beetles. Make sure to sweep and vacuum small nooks and crannies in your home, including cracks and crevices along walls, and vccumme out pantry cabinets and cupboards.
Store Foods In Air-Tight Containers
Storing your food in airtight containers will not only keep spider beetles out, but it will also keep them in if you potentially buy infested food. This stops them from spreading and reduces the chances of you winding up with a severe spider beetle infestation.
The best storage options for pantry foods are made of thick plastic or glass, and seal shut.
Use A Year-Round Pest Control Regime To Repel Rodents, Bats and Birds
Last but not least, keep up with routine pest control year-round. Remember, spider beetles can easily be brought into your home via other pests, making their way down into your living space through attics, basements, crawl spaces or behind walls.
Keep up with home maintenance to ensure pests like bats, mice and rats don’t have easy access to your home, and use a trusted pest control regiment to ensure they stay away.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on how to get rid of a spider beetle infestation inside your home and that you now have a better understanding of these strange but interesting insects.
Now it’s your turn to share. Tell us what you think about spider beetles and the above spider beetle control methods in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.